This hike is rewarding and challenging, yet very accessible. The lift system saves you time and effort, meaning that you can spend more of your day enjoying the tranquility and beauty of this remote spot.
Starting from Planpraz at Brevent, turn left out of the lift station and follow the wide path past the Altitude 2000 restaurant (closed in summer). On a good calm day you’ll see parapenters taking off from the grassy field on your left.
Continue up towards the chairlift pylons and bear right towards Flegere; after a couple of hundred metres you’ll come to a footpath on your left that climbs uphill through open fields before reaching a scree slope. Scramble across the scree (it’s not too steep or challenging) and pass through a narrow gap.
The trail becomes steeper as it approaches Col Cornu and you pass between the impressive peaks of Aiguille de Charlanon on your left and Aiguille Pourrie on your right; once you’ve reached the summit of the col at 2414m the trail drops down to the lake.
The lake itself is surrounded by rocks that make good picnic tables and the occasional grassy patch. The rocks make for quite eerie acoustics and you can often hear the cawing of birds or bleating of goats, magnified and distorted from their usual sounds. The views are spectacular and you get a completely different perspective by being on the other side of the mountain.
You can either return via the same route, or make a circuit of it by descending to Flegere and taking the cable car down to Les Praz, from where you can catch the bus back to Chamonix or walk alongside the river.
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Location: Chamonix - Le Brevent
Typical Duration: 2 hours